Nov 10, 2008

White not a Hyper?

A few days ago James White wrote the following in response to some at the John 3: 16 conference labeling him a "Hyper Calvinist." I wish to take a close look at what brother White said and make some responses.

He wrote here:

"Isn't it ironic? I am in London, England, preparing to do public debates with Islamic apologists, seeking to present and proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ and His Lordship, and the Arminians are all gathered at Johnny Hunt's church to try to convince folks not to listen to the Calvinists. Don't you find something just a bit ironic in that? I'm out on the front lines pressing the claims of Christ and calling Muslims to bow to His lordship while those who will falsely accuse me of being a "hyper-Calvinist" are safely ensconced in the friendly environs of Georgia, sniping at Reformed folks---who, of course, were not invited to participate, debate, or discuss."

Yes, we should all applaud brother White for his efforts to win Muslims to Christ. But, his efforts at this kind of soul winning does not negate the charge of Hyper Calvinism. It is one of the key dogmas of Hyper Calvinism to put the new birth before faith. Yes, White says he believes that the gospel is a "means" in regenerating sinners. But, if he really believes this, then he will quit saying that the new birth is an accomplished fact before faith. Can he tell us how the gospel is a "means" in producing spiritual life? We know how it is a "means" in creating faith, but how is it a "means" in creating life? Will he tell us?

White then says:

"I noted in a report of today's presentation by Dr. David Allen (provided here) these words:

James White is a hyper-Calvinist by the definition of Phil Johnson. Oct. 10 on the Dividing Line White denied God wills the salvation of all men which is against Tom Ascol.

Let it be known that I believe God uses the proclamation of the Gospel as the means by which He draws His own unto Himself; be it known that I believe we are commanded to evangelize, and any Arminian Southern Baptist who has not been in Salt Lake City at the General Conference or outside the District Convention of Jehovah's Witnesses or outside the national convention of the American Atheists or who will not be calling men to faith in Jesus Christ after defending His deity here in London next week need not attempt to argue this point with me. If you believe you have to affirm that God is disappointed in Christ, disappointed in His attempts to do something He tries to accomplish but can't, to avoid being called a "hyper-Calvinist," then let's stop playing games about the meaning of words. If you can evangelize, call men to Christ, believe in common grace, etc., and still end up smeared by the "hyper" name, then clearly the debate has devolved down to a level beneath what is proper for believers."

I agree that many Arminians label folks "Hyper Calvinists" who are "five pointers," and who do not accept their Arminianism. But, when the charge comes from fellow "five pointers," then White especially needs to address their charges. Brother White is not a "Hyper" because of the things enumerated above. He is a "Hyper" because he separates faith from the new birth, and effectually and practically eliminates the gospel as a means in birthing the sinner. Is this not how he reasons on Romans 8 and I Cor. 2 in regard to "total depravity"? Does he not reason as Hodge and other Pedos, who believe in "infant regeneration," that one must be "first made alive" before the gospel can have any effect? If one must be "first made alive before he can hear and believe the gospel," how can he consistently avow that the gospel is a means in the giving of life? Will he tell us?

Next, brother White said:

"I did notice with some sadness that, as usual, the main thrust of the presentation was not biblical at all. And this will always remain the difference between the Reformed and those who cling to man's sovereignty. One side will be able to open the Word, the other will always have to gloss over surface-level discussions. Such is the nature of the situation."

I don't think this is totally true. On the point at issue, Dr. Lemke cited many scriptures that showed that "life" followed "believing."

White says next:

"So once again I contrast the difference between how Reformed folks address these issues (seeking debate and dialogue, providing in-depth exegesis, taking our beliefs to the marketplace, proclaiming Christ on the front lines) and how it is approached by others (monologue, never dialogue, shallow, surface-level interpretation)."

I want to simply ask this question. Will White take a little time out of his busy "debate" schedule with the Muslims to debate this issue with Bob Ross? Or with myself? Or with some other five pointer who rejects his corrupt "ordo salutis"? Why do White and his cohorts simply want to slander and deride us? Ignore us? Seek to "ban" us from their blogs? Of what are they afraid from a discussion on it? Did he not say that he is "seeking debate and diaglogue"? Or is he selective in this? He will debate the Muslims and other cults, but not a fellow five pointer?

No, he wants debate and dialogue with the Arminians, as brother Ross has pointed out at the calvinist flyswatter blog here but not with a creedal five point Calvinist.

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